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Letter of Complaint to MASTERCARE

27TH MAY 2002

Mastercare Coverplan Customer Services
F.A.O Customer Services Manager
Maylands Avenue
Hemel Hempstead

Dear Sir/Madam,

Coverplan Ref: XXXXXXX

We are writing to complain about the quality of service we have received as a mastercare coverplan customer.

The first incident occurred following a breakdown of our TV and Video in January 02. An engineer came out and ordered parts to repair the TV and Video and a different engineer called back about a week later to fit the parts. However, he was unable to rectify the problem with the video and said that the switch points needed re-aligning and he would take it into the MK workshop to be done. He said we would get it back a few days later. This engineer then called my wife about a week later and said he would deliver the video back to us that day, however after my wife explained that she could not be in he suggested that she go into the Milton Keynes Curry's Store to collect the video herself. So my wife dragged our 2 year old down to the store and sat there patiently for rather a long time (not easy with a 2 year old in tow) while the assistant tried to find our video. After many puzzled faces and phone calls the assistant informed my wife that our video had been sent to Birmingham for repair. We never received any apologies for the inconvenience caused or and explanation as to why my wife had been sent on this wild goose chase. It was another 3 weeks before our video came back to us -1 month after the breakdown, but these things happen and we assumed it was a one off.

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The real problem started over the Easter bank holiday when out TV developed another problem. After failing to get a reply on the Saturday my wife called the service centre on the bank holiday Monday and was told someone would call us back in the next couple of days to arrange for an engineer to come out to us. However, on the Wednesday nobody had called so my wife phoned again. She was told nobody could come out to us until the following Monday, 1 week after our first call. My wife pointed out that the service we purchased guaranteed a same day callout and that it was unreasonable to expect us to wait a whole week from our first call for an engineer. The lady my wife spoke to said she would have to talk to a supervisor and that she would call us back. However, once again our call was not returned so my wife called again on Thursday and spoke to a supervisor who eventually arranged for an engineer to come out on the Friday (5/4/02). The engineer solved part of the problem by plugging in a lead he had left unplugged in Jan/Feb and ordered some parts. The following Thursday (11/04/02) he came out to fit the parts and the problem was solved, or so we thought.

Two days after the engineer had repaired our TV the picture went again (13/4/02). My wife got back onto your call centre and requested an engineer ASAP as we was fed up with all this hanging around and chasing up only for our TV to break down again. The young lady my wife spoke to (Sharon) told her and engineer would be out to us 4 days later, my wife again pointed out the same day guarantee on our contract and said she wanted someone out on Monday. Sharon asked my wife to call again Monday morning to speak to a supervisor called Nicky. Eventually on Monday after speaking to this supervisor my wife arranged for the engineer to come out that day. The engineer ordered more parts and said he would be back in about 4/5 days to fit the parts. 10 days later we had still not heard from the engineer so my wife called the service centre to find out what was happening. She was told it was a complicated repair and that the parts would be in the following week. An appointment was made for 1/5/02 (1 month after the initial breakdown) for the parts to be fitted. A different engineer did this and the TV was working correctly again.

However, 3 days later the TV went again (Saturday 4/5/02) so once again my wife phoned the service centre who again said no-one could come out to us for 4 days. This time my wife pointed out not only the same day guarantee but also the 6 week repair time guarantee (which gave us a date of 13/5/02 for the fault to be rectified). This time my wife was told to phone back on the Tuesday following the bank holiday (7/5/02) to speak to a supervisor. So on the 7th May my wife once again called the service centre and eventually spoke to a senior clerk called Chris Cashmore. He listened to our dilemma and said he would look into our case and call us back. He phoned my wife back that afternoon and said they would write our TV off and send us vouchers to replace it. He also said that due to the length of time this had been going on he would rush it through so that we would receive the vouchers by Friday 17th May. Our TV was collected on 9th May leaving us watching an old one that we keep in the kitchen. On Monday 13th my wife called Chris Cashmore to check that all was going well and to see if he could give us some idea of the amount we would be reimbursed, her suspicions were aroused when the clerk she spoke to said our TV was being repaired. However, Chris assured my wife everything was OK and whilst he could not give us an amount he said we would have our vouchers by Friday 17th.

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On the morning of Monday 20th May we still had not received our vouchers and mastercare had been in possession of our TV for 11 days. My wife phone mastercare again and was given a 'write off reference number' and asked to call coverplan directly. She did this and spoke to a lady called Gloria on Team 2, who after looking on the web site told my wife our vouchers were just waiting to be validated. She said they would probably be sent out that same day. Having still not received the vouchers my wife called again 3 days later on 23rd May, only to be told after all this time that they could not discuss it with her as the coverplan was in my name. Up until this point all correspondence had been with my wife and I had not once spoken to anyone at mastercare or coverplan. As you can imagine this was very frustrating for my wife and she asked to speak to the lady that she had spoken to just 3 days earlier. My wife explained to Gloria that all she wanted to know was where our vouchers were and what the hold up was, she also explained that it was inconvenient for myself to come to the hone as I was in bed after working a night shift. Gloria said she would look on the web site again and phone my wife back. However when she did call my wife back she told her she had looked on the web site and knew the status of our vouchers but she could not tell my wife, she had to speak to me. After all the problems we have had with your service this was the final straw for my wife and actually reduced her to tears, at which point I overheard and took the call from Gloria only to be told our vouchers will be with us in the morning -surely they could have given this simply answer to my wife, what is confidential about that?

Sadly that was not the end of our problems. Our vouchers did arrive Friday morning and they where for the unbelievable sum of £185. This was supposed to enable us to replace a 28" Dolby pro-logic television. Having already been into Curry's we new we could not replace our existing system for less than £600. I immediately phoned coverplan and spoke to Joanne in team 2, she told me I should go into the store and they will phone on my behalf to request more vouchers. She said these vouchers would be authorised over the phone and assured me we would be able to purchase our TV on the same day (Friday 24th May). So off we went to the store and spoke to a store manager called Nick Farrell, he was very helpful and went off to phone mastercare for us. After a while he came back with what can only be described as a shocking explanation from mastercare. Apparently the vouchers had been sent out to replace our VCR that they had repaired back in Jan/Feb. Not only did we still have this VCR at home, the coverplan on it had run out in March! Nick Farrell said he would continue to try and find a solution for us and suggested we go home and chase coverplan up as well. Mr Farrell phoned back a while later and said that coverplan had refused to offer anything over the phone and that the vouchers would need to be sent back and re-issued. Shortly after this phone call I spoke to Joanne at coverplan again and she insisted upon the same course of action. She apologised for their mistake but insisted we would have to wait another 10 days at least for replacement vouchers. We find this beyond belief, if you can authorise extra vouchers over the phone in store why could you not authorise the full amount for a customer who you have caused so much inconvenience and stress for over the past 4-5 months. Eventually after getting no help from coverplan or mastercare we decided to purchase our new TV on an interest free credit option, and us our vouchers to pay this off when they eventually arrive, hopefully this will be before the

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9 months interest free period ends!

We have found your service and your systems totally incompetent and will be reluctant to do any business with you in the future. We also feel that you should offer some kind of compensation or good will payment, due to the amount of time we have lost from work, cost of telephone calls and sheer stress. The reason people buy your coverplan is to ensure they are not left with an appliance that does not work properly or as we have for the last few weeks, without any appliance at all. We would also like to point out that we know of 2 other customers who have had problems with you in the past and probability says that if we know 2 people there must be plenty more disgruntled customers out there. On this basis we would not hesitate to take the mater further if we do not receive a satisfactory action to our complaint.

From one very disappointed customer,

Mr Richard Cole

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